If you’ve just had a baby, you can wave the carefree summers of your past goodbye. It’s not all bad news, but one thing’s for sure: summer will never be the same again…
Remember the days of lazing by the pool and drinking bottomless cocktails without a care in the world? This season you might find you’ve got a bit more to think about, from how to stop your little one over-heating to lugging a load of excess baggage around. Here’s how your summer might change with a little one in tow.
1. Checking the forecast
Then: A row of little suns on your weather app was greeted with a big thumbs up as it meant you could finally ditch the umbrella and wear your new summer dress to work.
Now: A sunny forecast is met with a groan now you have to keep both of you at a bearable temperature during those muggy nights, not to mention worrying about how to keep the sun off their delicate skin. You’re now an expert at using a muslin as a make-shift sun shade for your pram!
2. Shopping for ‘essentials’
Then: Your weekly shop consisted of a few bottles of chilled rosé, barbecue food, Häagen-Dazs ice-cream and some tanning oil.
Now: Your trolley is full of swimming nappies, SPF 50 kids sun cream, calamine lotion for prickly heat, a paddling pool and armbands. You make sure you get a treat too – even if it’s just helping yourself to one of the kid’s Peppa Pig ice lollies.
3. Heading to the coast
Then: A weekend trip to the beach was all about finding a secluded spot for a picnic and a leisurely paddle in the water before retiring to your deckchair for a snooze.
Now: Your boot is jammed full of buckets and spades, sunshades and a wind breaker and you end up sharing the tiny patch of sand nearest the baby-changing facilities with the other families. But it’s all worth it when you see the smile on their faces as their little feet feel the sand for the first time. Just.
4. Choosing your destination
Then: Your only holiday dilemma was whether you’d choose a fun-fuelled girly week in the sun or a romantic beach break with your other half – both of which involved a lot of relaxation, plenty of good food and drink and maybe a spa treatment or two. And no children in sight.
Now: You choose a resort purely because of its family-friendly credentials. Once the stuff of nightmares, a Kids Club and a restaurant with plenty of high chairs are now the Holy Grail as they mean you can relax and enjoy a meal without fearing judgement when your little one starts throwing food.
5. Packing your suitcase
Then: A bikini, flip-flops and sun cream were pretty much all you needed for a holiday in the sun.
Now: The list of things you need to take with you to survive a two-week holiday with a baby or toddler is epic. You need to pay for extra luggage allowance just to cover the buggy and the basics. But at least it means there’s room for an extra pair of shoes for you!
6. Having time to read
Then: You’d load your kindle up with the latest bestsellers and get through several books on a two-week break. Then you’d start on whatever thriller your partner had packed.
Now: Getting through one issue of Grazia while on holiday feels like an achievement now. And by ‘get through’ you mean skim over the fashion bits to the story about Katy Perry’s latest love interest – which is vitally important.
7. Baring all
Then: You always opted for an itsy-bitsy, barely-there bikini by the pool.
Now: Seriously, who has the time or money to wax every inch of their body with a newborn on their hands? The good news is you won’t find a lot of judgement by the kids’ pool, because you’re all in the same boat. Instead, you just go with the flow and throw on a floaty kaftan – you just read they’re on trend in a magazine anyway so it’s a win, win.
8. Dealing with holiday drama
Then: The most you had to worry about was deciding whether to sunbathe by the pool or by the beach. It was a hard life.
Now: You’re constantly trying to stop your baby from eating grass, sand or sun cream. Or you’re trying to keep them covered up in the shade. Or you’re running after a newly toddling little one as they head for the pool. Again. At least all that moving around is keeping you fit!
9. Taking photos
Then: Your Facebook holiday albums were filled with hilarious group selfies of you and your friends with a waiter, or videos of you jumping into the pool.
Now: Your camera roll is still full of selfies, but who’s that in the middle? Only your newest and most-favourite BFF (don’t tell the girls). Summer might be hard work, but just look at your baby’s happy little face. You don’t want to miss a moment.